The Many Facets Of India Essay Research

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The Many Facets Of India Essay, Research Paper The Many Facets of India An Overview of the Five Themes of Geography by Laura Warren 4th Hour Social Studies March 30, 2000 Culture, and all its numerous subcategories, is what defines a country and its people above all else. The individual society’s habits and ways of living set it apart from every other place in this diverse world. Culture, a comprehensive term that encompasses everything from language and music to transportation and education, is so multi-faceted that its parts may in some ways conflict. India is a prime example of the distinct contrast that occurs when tradition meets technology head on. It is a country that is caught in a sort of generation gap; it tries to hold on to its natural heritage and “old

school” mannerisms while desperately reaching out to the modern world of effective worldwide communication, technology, transportation, and government. The contrast is what makes India’s culture so interesting and is what will hopefully bring color to what might otherwise be yet another black-and-white geographical summation. Before delving into the particulars of the culture, one should become acquainted with the country’s more straight-forward aspects. Located precisely at 78 degrees East and 20 degrees North, India’s bordering neighbors include Nepal, Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan, with the island nation Sri Lanka found off India’s south east shoreline. India’s coastline touches the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. This section of the world

is called the Indus Valley and incorporates all of the above mentioned countries except China. Through India run three major rivers: the Narmada, the Ganges, and the Indus. The land itself is divided into three plains. The northmost plain, creatively titled “The Northern Plain”, is where the most fertile land can be found. This plain is watered by the nearby rivers, and for this reason, traditional tribes regard the rivers as incomparably sacred. The Deccan plain is arid, unproductive, and consequently sparsely populated. This triangular plateau physically juts into the Indian ocean on the eastern coast. South of the centrally located Deccan plain is the Coastal plain. The two plateaus are separated by the Western and Eastern Ghats (mountains). The Coastal plains’ most

defining characteristic is the heavy seasonal rains they receive. India’s climatic patterns are common for this region. In October, winter monsoons carry hot, dry air in from the northeast, and crops generally wither and die. This situation is described well in the Indian novel Nectar in a Sieve as it can be a tragedy for families who live off the land. May and June bring wet summer monsoons from the southwest that carry moisture from the Indian Ocean. During this season, it usually rains quite hard every day for weeks at a time. As described, India’s great size and diverse landscape create barriers between groups of the 750 million inhabitants. This is the significant factor in the diverse culture as there are numerous cultural groups with unique traditions and languages.

Some aspects of culture, however, are consistent throughout the country. Traditionally, Indians live in villages. The stereotypical image of a woman carrying water in a jug on her head down a worn dirt path is still accurate in much of the country; however, the amount of access to electricity and running water has increased over the past decades. The transition from tradition to modernization is one that this far in has not been overly smooth. The level of modernization varies from village to village. Clothing has remained traditional throughout India. Robes wrap around the Indian bodies, and women commonly wear colorful saris. More than 700 languages and dialects divide the people of India, and while Hindi is the most widely spoken language, less than 30% of the citizens speak